PS5 vs XBOX Series X


Michael Koppeis

FHS students share which of the latest consoles get their vote and why.

The Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X recently launched bringing the gaming industry into a brand new generation. The topic of which console is the superior machine has been heavily debated among video game fans recently and with the holidays coming up, knowing which is the better console will surely be helpful information for consumers. There are several categories that can determine which is the more impressive console, all of which must be taken into consideration when deciding which to purchase. The first of these categories is specs and hardware.

These two consoles are very similar in terms of their specs. They can both handle up to 8k resolution and 120 frames per second. However, Xbox just has the edge in this category in terms of SSD and GPU. Although while it’s nice to know which console is superior when it comes to hardware, it’s very difficult to notice much of a difference when the specs are this similar. In layman’s terms, both consoles will run extraordinarily well, but the Xbox is more powerful.

However, specs are unimportant without good games. Arguably, the most important question to be asked is what will early adopters of each console be able to play on launch. Microsoft had an interesting strategy this time around in not releasing any exclusives at launch. Instead, they released 30 old games that were in the company’s words “…optimized to look and play best on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S”. This isn’t all though, the Xbox has a ton of backward compatibility. All games from the previous console, the Xbox One is playable on the Series X. As well as select Xbox 360 and original Xbox games meaning there is already a massive game library available from the get-go, just nothing truly new which is disappointing for some consumers. On the other hand, Sony launched the Playstation 5 alongside Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Demon’s Souls, Astro’s Playroom, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and more. Also, while Playstation doesn’t have as much backward compatibility when compared to Xbox, almost all PS4 games can be played on the PS5. In conclusion, the Xbox has a wider variety of playable games but the Playstation has more new games available and even comes with the game Astro’s Playroom pre-installed.

The next important category is, which is more popular, and why? Knowing this can help gauge which is safer to buy as a holiday gift, which will have more players online, and most importantly the system selling features. We surveyed 135 students and staff members from Farmington High School to see which system they prefer and why they picked that option. Of the 135 people surveyed, 39.3% preferred Xbox while 60.7% preferred the Playstation. Responses in favor of Xbox typically point to its backward compatibility and specs while responses in favor of Playstation pointed more towards the exclusives, controller, and price. Direct quotes include “Because I can play Xbox 360 games in 4k” and on the other side “Playstation has better games like Spider-Man and Uncharted” or “Because Santa does not want to bring my children a $500 Christmas present” which leads perfectly into the last category.

Finally, the category that can sell systems on its own, price. Both standard consoles start at $500. However, Playstation has offered a fully digital variant of the PS5 meaning it can’t play physical games due to the loss of the disk drive, but all the same, games can be downloaded onto the console digitally. The digital variant of the Playstation knocks the price down to $400. Microsoft did something similar with the Xbox Series S. The Series S can play the same games, but its specs are much worse in comparison and it is also fully digital. Series S starts at $300. However, the elusiveness of these products must also be taken into account. It is very difficult to find even the cheap alternatives to these at their starting price thanks to scalpers and these consoles being in very high demand.

At the end of the day, the better console is the one that has the games the consumer wants to play. There really is no definitive console, it’s all subjective. If you care about specs, Xbox wins. If you care about the number of exclusives, Playstation wins. Really though, I think most people care about the immersive experiences that both of these game consoles can provide. Buy whichever you think will bring you the most joy and be civil to people who think otherwise. So many people get caught up in which is the better console that they forget there is actually no better console, it’s all about preference. Good luck to all who are looking for these consoles and have fun playing.